Ill. Gov. Rauner signs bill allowing medical marijuana to treat pain

CHICAGO, Ill. (KWQC) - Medical marijuana is now an approved treatment for pain in Illinois.

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the Alternatives to Opioids Act of 2018, Tuesday. Aug. 28, adding those who might otherwise seek opioids for pain management to the list eligible for medical marijuana.

In a statement released by the governor's office, Rauner said, “This is not about personal opinions about cannabis. It’s about giving people more control over their own health care and pain-relief options.”

The Illinois Department of Public Health says opioid deaths in Illinois increased 13 percent from 2016 to 2017.

Licensed physicians must certify an individual has a medical condition for which an opioid has been or could be prescribed. Participants must register at a licensed dispensary. The program is limited to individuals 21 and older and is effective immediately.